ArtsFairfax Announces the 2024 ArtsFairfax Awards Honorees

ArtsFairfax Announces the 2024 ArtsFairfax Awards Honorees

ArtsFairfax Announces the 2024 ArtsFairfax Awards Honorees

Peterson Family Foundation, Anne R. Kline, Shu-Chen Cuff, and We Rock Cancer to be Honored on October 25


Fairfax, VA (May 6, 2024) – The 2024 ArtsFairfax Awards on Friday, October 25, 2024 will celebrate the Peterson Family Foundation, philanthropist Anne R. Kline, dancer and choreographer Shu-Chen Cuff, and the early cancer detection nonprofit We Rock Cancer for their visionary contributions to the arts in Fairfax and Northern Virginia.

“The arts in Fairfax are so varied and vibrant that there is truly something for everyone. This year’s ArtsFairfax Awards honorees, who include among them a veteran-founded nonprofit, a banker, a dancer, and a family foundation, all come from different places in the world, reminding us that when we invest in the arts we bring our whole selves to the task. I’m inspired by how each and every one of us can improve the Fairfax community through local arts and culture,” says Stuart Holt, ArtsFairfax President & CEO.

Held annually to raise the visibility of arts and culture throughout Fairfax County and the Cities of Fairfax and Falls Church, the ArtsFairfax Awards include a reception, luncheon, and awards ceremony. The fundraising event attracts more than 350 guests, including local, state, and federal elected officials, as well as private supporters, business professionals, and arts and community leaders.

“The arts make us human, and our humanity is needed now more than ever,” says Bev Cosham, Board of Governors Chair of Reston Community Center (RCC), a Visionary Sponsor of this year’s ArtsFairfax Awards. “Reston Community Center supports ArtsFairfax through this annual celebration of great arts achievement and philanthropy because we know that it is the creative work of our artists that lifts us up when our spirits flag. We congratulate the awardees and are grateful for all the artists and arts supporters who make Fairfax County a great place.”

Proceeds from the ArtsFairfax Awards help sustain the critical services, resources, and support the nonprofit provides for the local arts sector and the broader community. As Fairfax County’s local arts agency, ArtsFairfax serves more than 200 arts and culture nonprofits by distributing County funds to the arts, connecting artists and arts organizations to each other and to civic partners, and promoting arts and culture activities for approximately 1.2 million County residents.


Event Details:
Friday, October 25, 2024
11:15am – 2:00pm
Capital One Hall
7750 Capital One Tower Road, Tysons, VA 22102

Sponsorships and tickets are available at
Contact: Caroline Barnes,, 571-395-4621


2024 ArtsFairfax Awards Honorees


ArtsFairfax Jinx Hazel Award: Peterson Family Foundation
The Jinx Hazel Award is ArtsFairfax’s premier award recognizing an individual or organization whose vision and commitment has helped shape the cultural life of Fairfax County.

Together with their family, Milt and Carolyn Peterson established the Peterson Family Foundation in 1997 with a cornerstone of arts and health as key areas of the Foundation’s impact. Most notably, the Peterson Family Foundation has made transformative gifts to the Life with Cancer initiative at Inova and to George Mason University for the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) and College of Public Health.

At CVPA, the Foundation has significantly invested in opera and vocal studies programs, the Dewberry School of Music, and performing arts programs. Every semester, over 1,700 students major in CVPA programs and approximately 16,000 students participate in arts coursework as a result of the Peterson Family Foundation’s generosity.

Beyond campus life, the Foundation also nurtures individual talent through support of the Mason Community Arts Academy, which serves students of all ages, skill levels, and socio-economic backgrounds. More than 850 Fairfax residents benefit from classes, private lessons, professional development workshops, and talent showcases annually, and over 2,000 students participate in the Academy’s summer camp offerings. Together, these programs bring George Mason University faculty, teaching artists, and experienced arts educators to local community members for professional instruction in music, theater, visual art, and film.

The Foundation also makes possible the Great Performances at Mason series, which features world-class performances and Artists-in-Residence at the Center for the Arts, elevating Fairfax County as a destination for national and international artists across music, dance, theater, and opera. In recognition of the Peterson Family Scholarship Endowment in the Vocal Arts and the Peterson Excellence Fund for the Arts, George Mason University named the Peterson Performing Arts Teaching Center in their honor.


ArtsFairfax Philanthropy Award: Anne R. Kline
The Philanthropy Award recognizes an individual, corporation, or foundation that has provided leadership funding or long-term monetary support to the arts.

Throughout her successful banking career and now as Director of the Pohanka Family Office with the Pohanka Automotive Group, Anne R. Kline has remained a passionate advocate and ambassador for the arts in Fairfax. As a Board Member of the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, where she chairs the Marketing and Communications Committee and serves on the Executive Committee, Ms. Kline is a major contributor to Wolf Trap Opera (WTO), where she has established The Geoffrey P. Pohanka and Anne R. Kline Endowment Fund to support WTO staff, artists, programming, and audience development for years to come.

In 2019, she became the first funder of WTO’s Career Development Program, and in 2020 she supported the continuation of WTO’s young artist training company. During the pandemic, she also led fundraising efforts for the digital “Wolf Trap Opera Uncorked” event, which raised funds at a critical time for the institution. Because of Ms. Kline’s leadership, WTO was poised and ready to offer the first performance in the 50th anniversary season at the Filene Center. Ms. Kline’s exemplary support, service, and leadership on behalf of the Wolf Trap Foundation was recently recognized with a 2024 National Opera Trustee Recognition Award.

Beyond Fairfax, Ms. Kline serves as an Advisory Director at the Metropolitan Opera, where she chairs the national Laffont Competition. As Trustee and Opera Ambassador of the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center, she serves on the Audience Development and the Nominating and Governance Committees. As Opera Ambassador, she is responsible for bringing new people to the Opera as well as furthering the Artist Ambassador’s role in promoting audience diversity. She is also a member of the Kennedy Center’s National Committee for the Performing Arts.

In addition to the arts, Ms. Kline supports Fairfax County Park Foundation, Fairfax Partnership for Youth,, and Van Dyck Park.


ArtsFairfax Achievement Award: Shu-Chen Cuff
The Achievement Award recognizes the outstanding career of an artist in any discipline who has made a lasting contribution to their discipline and/or community.

Born in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Shu-Chen Cuff began her artistic training in ballet, modern, Chinese opera, and Chinese folk dance. After immigrating to the United States and eventually receiving a B.F.A. from the University of Florida’s New World School of the Arts, Ms. Cuff had a successful dance career with Miami Ballet, Nevada Ballet Theater, and the Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company.

In 2011, Ms. Cuff established Gin Dance Company (GDC). Lauded for her originality blending classical ballet, Chinese folk, and contemporary and modern dance, Ms. Cuff has received nominations for Outstanding Choreographer and Outstanding Individual Performer at the Dance MetroDC Awards and a Fellowship from the Virginia Commission for the Arts. Under the direction of Ms. Cuff, GDC has performed and toured to such venues as the Kennedy Center, Capital One Hall, CenterStage at RCC, Lincoln Theater, Sindy Harman Hall, Lang Theater at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, and others.

Her artistic vision for site-specific work and multimedia collaboration has earned her several commissions. In 2015, GDC was commissioned by Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art (Tephra) and RCC to create a response to Patrick Dougherty’s “Bird in the Hand” sculpture, and by Reston CenterStage to collaborate with the visual artists Teri Ann Labuwi and CinCin Fang. In 2016, Ms. Cuff was again commissioned by Tephra and RCC to create a work in response to Mary Ann Mears’ sculpture “Reston Rondo.” In 2017, she collaborated and performed with two-time Grammy nominee David Taylor at the Taiwan Night Concert, and in 2019 and 2020 she collaborated and performed with Tom Teasley and Chao Tian at the Workhouse Arts Center.

Ms. Cuff also serves the community through outreach performances and workshops in support of the American Diabetes Association, Child Rescue Center, Habitat for Humanity, Angel Fund, Johns Hopkins Children Center, Hurricane Relief, Life After Domestic Violence, Wounded Warriors, Doctors Without Borders, and more.

As an instructor, Ms. Cuff’s dedication to dance education has been recognized by esteemed institutions like Georgetown University, Towson University, and Virginia Tech, among others. She is currently on the faculty of George Mason University, BalletNova Center for Dance, The Washington Ballet School, Metropolitan School of the Arts, and Skye Ballet Center.

Recently retired as a professional dancer after 27 years, Ms. Cuff took her final bow as a Principal Dancer in November 2023 at Capital One Hall; however, her work continues in her capacity as Artistic Director, Choreographer, dance instructor, and mentor.

ArtsFairfax Innovation Award: We Rock Cancer
The Innovation Award recognizes an individual or organization that has implemented nontraditional or inventive approaches to their art form or has uniquely engaged audiences in the arts.

We Rock Cancer is a veteran-founded charitable organization that combines the power of music and healthcare to both increase opportunities for local artists and increase early detection of skin cancer. We Rock Cancer helps communities get access to early cancer detection, prevention, and education with the power of music at its core.

Following his personal experience with skin cancer in 2018, Tim Reed created a partnership with musical artists, area dermatologists, and a team composed entirely of volunteers to begin offering free screenings at live music events. With music’s ability to gather people together and bring joy through entertainment, these early beginnings led to the creation of We Rock Cancer, which has made the experience of participating in skin screenings more convenient and less anxiety-provoking.

In 2020, the nonprofit acquired a portable stage with self-contained power, sound, and lighting rigs to help facilitate event production. First deployed during COVID-19, the mobile stage arrived at a critical time to increase the comfort and safety of screenings during the pandemic. By integrating mobile agility, the nonprofit is uniquely equipped to bring their offering to nontraditional settings, including outdoor race events, cultural festivals, first responder meetings, and health fairs. To date, 62% of individuals screened at their events have had one or more issues identified that required follow-up with participants’ healthcare providers.

According to the American Cancer Society, melanoma has a survivability rate of only 27% if metastasized, but if diagnosed early has a recovery rate of 99%. In the next three years, We Rock Cancer intends to expand outreach to underserved communities, including children, young adults, and the UV-exposed workforce (construction, landscaping, utilities, etc.). By sharing their innovative offering with the community, We Rock Cancer addresses healthcare access and equity to attain annual skin checks, conduct self-examinations, and obtain skin cancer prevention resources while celebrating live, local music.


About ArtsFairfax
ArtsFairfax is the nonprofit designated as Fairfax County’s local arts agency. Dedicated to the belief that arts are essential to a thriving community, the ArtsFairfax mission is to expand support for and access to arts and culture opportunities for the more than 1.2 million residents across Fairfax County, the City of Fairfax, and the City of Falls Church. By offering informational, financial, and programmatic services, ArtsFairfax promotes the role of arts and culture to deepen social engagement, create a sense of place, and fuel economic growth. Incorporated as a 501(c)(3) since 1964, ArtsFairfax provides these services to all who contribute to and experience arts in Fairfax County, and is funded in part by the County, Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as corporations, foundations, and individuals.


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